Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Life Is Frigile and Beautiful

How do you feel? How do you answer that question? Do you answer with a generic "fine." Or can you name the emotion. Are you aware of how that emotion shapes your daily life?

Burried emotion can create havoc if you aren't aware of them and aren't finding healthy ways to express them.

We are in a challenging world these days, more challening than usual. How are you feeling? Check out this TED Talk:

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Wisdom of a Seventeen-year-old

Sam Berns is wise beyond his years. 

His ability to present his ideas is excellent.

AND his philosphy can make each of us, and the world, better. Listen up:

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Who Cares Anyway?

Recently I was shocked when a friend who is a Trump supporter tell me that they don't care what happens in other countries, therefore we shouldn't help refugees fleeing violence in Central and South America. I never dreamed that anyone I knew didn't really care about anyone else.

They said we should close the borders and not help people who aren't American because there are people in our country who need help. And in the conversation they were unable to believe that there is enough resources in our country to help both, that it is the system that is broken that keeps people here in need. They took no responsibility for changing any of that.

I truly don't understand that thinking, that paranoia and selfishness. We are responsible for fixing what is not working. We are responsible for electing people who will work for the middle and lower classes of people rather than for the richest 1% . So is this getting too political for this blog? It isn't about political parties, it is about people and fixing a system to provide support to those who really need it.This is about our responsiblity to vote.

What do you care about? Vote to make it happen. Vote your future!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Don't Let Anyone Take That Away!

We've just celebrated the holiday for our nation's independence from England. It is about freedom. And as Americans we have always believed the freedoms we enjoy will be there forever. But I'm afriad that currently some of those freedoms are being withdrawn.

Keep your eyes and ears and mind open to hear/see when that is happening. Then fight for your freedom.

Fight for our constitution, for it embodies those promised freedoms.

Do what you can: vote, support candidates that support those freedoms, encourage everyone you know to get out and vote. We must exercise that freedom or we may loose it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

It's Your Turn

We talked about the importance of kindness. We have talked about how kindness can change your life and heal the world. We've listed some ways to create kindness. And now it is up to YOU. It is up to each of us to be kind, to live kindness.

And it is something anyone can do. It isn't always easy, but it is FREE.

So it is your turn now to tell us how we can be kind. Share some of the ways you have behaved out of kindness and how that affected you.

Share ideas of acts of kindness to help others get started.

Most important of all, be kind.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

You Can Heal the World

What you do and say has the power to heal or harm. We each have the power to heal the part of the world we are in with kindness. And other people follow your example, spreading healing beyond yourself. So, to heal the world, be Kind.

Continuing to look at ways to be kind in the world we return to the book We Can Be Kind, Healing Our World One Kindness at a Time, by David Friedman. We are surrounded the unkindness, in a world that seems to have forgotten how to care for each other. It is up to us as individuals to make a difference, right where we are. No government or organization can do it without each of us taking responsibility for our own part of the world. So let's be kind.

  1. When someone wants to pick a fight with you, just refuse to fight and see what happens. Usually people who want to fight are really afraid of being attacked or of losing something. When you don't fight and instead seek to find what they are afraid of losing, you can move to problem solving instead of fighting. Be kind.
  2. When you encounter a service person who is being nasty, respond with kindness and see what happens. He or she is a person just like you and may be very frustrated or afraid or worried that they are going to be attacked. They may be all prepared to deal with a nasty customer. So be kind. Stay calm and focused. Lower the negative energy. Empathize.
  3. If you are having a problem with someone, find out what they want to make it right. Then be kind and do everything you can to make it right. That is the true act of kindness.
  4. In an upsetting situation, look for ways to be empathic. Let the other person know you understand their frustration, or whatever, and sympathise. You might be the only person who brings a positive attitude to them!
  5. Are you having a fight with someone? Stop and ask, "What are we fighting for? We're both nice people. There must be a way to work this out." That act of kindness could bring peace to the moment, and beyond.
  6. When you deal with someone who has opposing views, don't attack or treat them unkindly no matter how they treat you. Show them kindness and respect their right to their own opinion. Don't feed the fire. Good advice in these conflictual times.
  7. Have you ever witnessed abuse of a child or animal and wondered what you should do? Unless it would obviously put you in danger, step in to stop it, or at least report it. The saying "See something, say something" works here. Often, just interrupting the behavior will stop the abuse or extreme unkindness.
  8. How do you deal with other people's prejudice? First you need to be aware of your own prejudices and work to confront them. Beyond that, when you see prejudic behavior or hear prejudice remarks about a partiular group of people, SAY SOMETHING..Let them know it is noticed and is unkind. Speak kindly, not meanly. And don't get into an argument about it.
  9. Being physically affectionate is a wonderful way to show kindness. A kind touch can mean so much, especially in this age of digital separation. Always be aware of how the other person feels about touch. Remember that so many have been physically abused that an unwanted touch can be unkind. So if you aren't sure, ask. Be kind.
  10. When dealing with a problem that is too big for you to solve, ask yourself "What one thing might I do to express my viewpoint and create a condition where kindness can prevail. 
  11. If we want to make a difference in the world we must practice what we preach. Of course express you belief. But to make a difference we must behave in a way that shows you not only talk the talk, but you also walk the walk. 
Being kind is not always easy. But if we want to make a positive difference in the world, if we want to make a kinder world, then we must make the effort to practice kindness. If you are going to commit to making the world more kind, do it! Read David Friedman's book.

Take on the task of intentional kindness. It will help others to be kind as well.

It all begins with each of us.

Be kind.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

How to Be Kind in the World

In a wounded world the healing is in our hands. We can heal our world with one kindness at a time, according to David Friedman in We Can Be Kind, Healing Our World One Kindness at a Time.

And in order for us to be kind in the world we must be kind to ourselves. The last blog post gave nine ways to do that, although there are many more. But we begin with ourselves and move out into our world with kindness. Here are some ways to do that:

  1. If you see someone struggling with something, and if you have something that would help, give it to them. No strings attached, even anonymously if that is theonly way they will take it. That help can be anything from helping someone carry something to providing them with an opportunity that may change their life for the better.
  2. Take the time to listen non-judgementally, not trying to solve their problem unless asked.
  3. When someone asks for directions to someplace nearby, take them theire personally, even if it is out of yur way. If you see someone who looks lost or upset, go up to them and ask if they need help.
  4. When someone is in a situation where there is nothing you can do to change the situation, simply be there with them, not trying to fix it but being present with them.
  5. When someone asks you for help and you can't give it, simply tell them that you can't help. If there is something difficult you must say to someone, tell them honestly. Most people prefer that you speak honestly and from your heart. It is a kindness.
  6. The next time something aggrevates you, like someone cutting you off on the road or someone isn't doing something the way you prefer, notice what you are thinking and change that to kinder thoughts. Decide to be kind. Smile at the other person, tell them it is o.k., and notice your upset-ness de-escalating. Watch how your kindness adds love and joy and relief to the people involved. Be a peacemaker.
  7. And the next time you find yourself in a difficult negotiation, like dealing with a service person, airline clerk, frustrated neighbor that is rude or won't give you satisfaction, try being kind when you ask for what you want. You don't have to be mean, even if they act mean, to find a satisfactory result.
  8. Don't fight unkindness with unkindness or attack with attack. It only give more power to the unkindness and keeps it going, usually escalating the exchange. This can be difficult, but it is powerful. State what you are for and not what you are against. You may find that you both want the same thing in the end. This is being kind and can change many contentious situations.
  9. Sometimes kindness is being nice, polite. Sometimes nice is tough, not enabling unhealthy behaviors. Sometimes kindness is telling the truth when their hearing the truth can help them. Sometimes kindness is not telling the truth when the truth would only hurt them or someone else and would not help. In every circumstance think about what would be the kindest thing to do, and be kind.
  10. The next time you have a disagreement with someone, try to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their perspective. Try to think what you would want if you were in their shoes. And endeavor to give that to them - respect, understanding, listening, etc. If there is something in the world that you feel you aren't getting, give it to others and it will come back to you.
  11. When caught up in an argument or disagreement, ask the other person what they want and why they want it. Instead of arguing see if you can simply listen, then do what you can to resolve the issue peacefully without fighting or arguing. Be kind. Kindness begets kindness.
  12. In dealing with people from different cultures, religions, sexual orientations, view them simply as human beings. Rather than look for their differences, look for what they want that is similar to what they want -peace, respect, safety, happiness. Offer them the kindness you would want, treating them as you would want. This creates a bond of cooperation rather than conflict. We have the compacity to know everyone's needs because we have the same needs ourselves.
This just a very short list of ways to be kind in the world. Next blog I will share the rest of the list that Friedman gives in his book. 

I recommend you read We Can Be Kind, Healing Our World One Kindness at a Time  for his explanations and examples. It is good reading a supports you as you develop the habit of kindness.